Find peace and solace in the spacious Japanese Garden of Montreal that features a large collection of bonsai trees that are 20 to 100 years old. The garden uses light and traditional Japanese music in order to create a magical experience for those walking through its grounds. There are ponds, streams, sculptures and even a tea and dry garden. An exhibition showcases artwork from Hiroshima survivors and there is also another exhibit on the beauty of Japanese forests. Visitors will get to feel like they are in Japan and it is the perfect place to explore on a sunny summer’s day.
Japanese Garden, 4101 Rue Sherbrooke E, Montréal, Canada, +1 514-872-1400
The Montreal Insectarium, which is free with an admission of entrance to the Botanic Gardens, is a place where children and adults can learn and observe all the types of insects that inhabit this Earth. The collection to be found here was donated by an antomologist and features both live and mounted exhibits. One of the most popular live exhibits revolves around a colony of leaf clutter ants. The Insectarium also displays spiders, butterflies, and has a video room where films are shown. The museum is also within a walking distance of the Olympic Park and makes for a perfect resting stop. This is what nature is all about!
Montreal Insectarium, 4581 Rue Sherbrooke E, Montréal, Canada, +1 514-872-1400
This magnificent Catholic church was built by Italian immigrants that came to the city with the purpose of commemorating the apparition of the Madonna in La Difesa. The style of the church is purely Romanesque and laid out in a Greek-cross plan. Notre-Dame-de-la-Defense first opened its doors in 1919 and has since then become famous for its large cupola and brick facade. The church is beautifully detailed and illuminated in a truly spectacular way with dramatic blue and yellow tones. A true work of art!
The charming neighborhood of Little Italy is lively and bustling with an exciting amount of shopping and dining options along every block. Start off the adventure by having a cup of coffee at Caffe San Simeon and then head to a charming small park called Parc Dante. There are quaint boutique grocery stores selling imported products from Italy and a variety of eateries, from pizzerias to formal dining restaurants and everything in between. There is a thriving community in Little Italy and it hosts community events as well as the famous F1 Grand Prix in June.
Cinema Beaubien is a non-profit movie theater that features French, Canadian, independent and art-house films. Located in the heart of Rosemont Petite-Patrie, the cinema’s diversified programming also includes local documentaries and the recognized Montreal Children Film Festival. The Beaubien boasts a friendly staff in an unpretentious environment that is intimate and also affordable. Every now and then local directors and producers will come to the theater to do a Q&A session with the audience at the end of the film. A real treat for film lovers!
Cinema Beaubien, 2396 Rue Beaubien E, Montréal, Canada, +1 514-721-6060
Parc Molson is a hidden gem of natural beauty located in the middle of the urban landscape that is Montreal. The park has a lovely gazebo, a kids’ playground, and even a skating rink during the winter season. It is also an ideal spot to have a picnic with products from one of the bakeries that can be found nearby. Parc Molson is a social staple for the residents of Rosemont Petite-Patrie and there are multiple community events happening throughout the year here. Come and contemplate this slice of nature against the city’s urban backdrop!
End a day exploring Rosemont Petite-Patrie by having the perfect meal at this Salvadorian joint. La Carreta offers a delightful array of flavorful choices in an extremely colorful setting. The menu features traditional Salvadorian fare, such as the popular pupusas; corn patties stuffed with pork, cheese and fried black beans. They are served alongside a giant mason jar of spicy homemade slaw. They also offer burritos, tacos, plantains, churros and homemade horchata for dessert.
La Carreta, 350 Rue Saint Zotique E, Montréal, Canada, +1 514-273-8884
By Edgar Catasus